Hi! This time I wrote about the school life in Japan.
I have experience being a student both in Japan and the US and I can tell that the education system in Japan and in other countries are really different.
In Japan, we are required to take classes at an elementary school for 6 years and then at a junior high school for 3 years.
After junior high, most people go to a high school for 3 years and then to a university for 4 years.
Education we get from elementary school up to high school is mandatary.
There are a lot many things to talk about when it comes to the education system in Japan and I can’t cover everything here so I focused on the school life in junior high school and high school.
Below is the typical day of a junior high/high school student in Japan.
Please note that it is just a sample schedule and it slightly varies depending on the school you attend. Here we go!
A typical day of a Japanese student
Good Morning! Have breakfast and wear Seifuku
Most students wake up around this time, eat breakfast, and get ready for school.
Seifuku is a school uniform with a school badge on it.
Usually they have a formal look with a white shirt, black jacket with black pants for men and skirt for women. (Btw, I attended a high school that didn’t require students to wear uniform which is kind of unusual. So I used to wear leather jacket and I had yellow hair(sometimes Orange) because I was so into rock music. haha)
Don’t forget to take your textbooks and be on time for school before the morning meeting starts!
8:30am to 8:40am
Short morning meeting/Attendance confirmation
There’s usually a brief morning meeting of the classroom you are in.
Homeroom teacher will talk about upcoming events and check who came and who didn’t.
So if you skip a class, it will be on a record and teachers will most likely tell your parents…!
8:50am to 12:40pm
Study 4 subjects and then the lunch time!
Subjects you study are Japanese, History, Society, Math, Science, PE, Art, English, Home economics, and Information(PC class).
At lunch time, most school provide Kyushoku(school meal).
At a high school, there’s a cafeteria where you can buy your lunch.
Better go to the cafeteria as soon as the lunch time starts or you will have to wait in line!
I remember working with my friends taking turns the responsibility of getting food at the cafeteria for our group.lol
1:40pm to 3:30pm
2 more classes to go!
(Sometimes 3 more)
Most students get really sleepy during the afternoon classes after eating.
If the afternoon subjects are boring, it is very hard to stay awake…
But it will be over by 3:30pm so keep it up!
3:30pm to 3:15pm
End of classes of the day.
Now, clean up the class room!
All students are required to work together to clean up the room.
Classroom is usually divided in some groups.
Each group takes turn the responsibility of cleaning the room.
It really sucks when you have plans after school, but I think it is a good custom to learn to keep things organized.
Also, you become more considerate of your classmates and you will stop making mess in a classroom because you know that if you do, your friends will have to work more overtime.
3:45pm to 7:00pm
Club activities are called, Bukatsu.
There are many kinds of Bukatsu: Baseball, Soccer, Tennis, Basketball, Swimming, Judo, Music, Reading…
And those who belong to a club but don’t show up for the activities are called Yurei Buin (Phantom member).
I belonged to a soccer club, badminton club, and music club.
But I was a Yuhei Buin for a few years in junior high and also in high school because there were some people I didn’t like!
Some students go home immediately without taking part of any club activities to attend Jyuku(cram school).
Usually, those who go to Jyuku to study more are from rich family and parents put emphasis on education.
Indeed, Japan has a very competitive society, which makes some parents Monster Parents(Parents who raise their children with an excessive authoritarianism and overprotectiveness)
By 7:00pm, all students are required to leave school.
The gate of school is locked at 7:15pm.
You’ve got to go home and do your homework!
More about Japanese school life
Senpai means earlier colleague(older person), and Kohai means later colleague(the junior or lower person).
It is an hierarchical relationship found in an organization especially in schools.
Kohai is expected to show respect to Senpai because they have more experience in life.
They need to use formal way of speaking(Keigo)when they talk to Senpai.
Senpai often helps Kohai giving advice to succeed in life. Kind of a mentor.
If you are entering a Japanese school or going to work in Japan, you have to learn and follow this rule/custom to keep the good relationships with others.
Usually, students have summer vacation that lasts for about 40 days from the end of July until Sep.
A lot of homework is assigned to all students… and at some schools, it is required to study what you want and make a report about it which is called Jiyu-Kenkyu (Free Research/Study)
I think Japanese students should have longer vacation to enjoy life like in other countries.
Minimum number of school days in a year is 210 in Japan, compared to 180 in the States.
There are three terms in a year and the new year starts in April.
Each term, students are required to take mid-term and the end of the term tests.
It is to confess love.
Back then(when?lol), it was popular to write a love letter and give it to someone you like, but these days it is getting normal to confess love using SNS like LINE (however, you still need to confess love face to face or the person you like might think that you are not brave enough and turn it down).
The most common phrase that is used to confess is “Sukidesu. Tsukiatte Kudasai”(I love you. Can we start seeing each other?)
If you are accepted, you can officially date with the person.
You must not go out with another man or woman after the confession or you will be considered that you are cheating.
Well, I guess that is the same in every country!
Did it make you feel like being a Japanese student?
Tell me what’s it like to be a student in your country!
*Need more info about Japan?
Give me a comment here or send me a message to
See you next time!